Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Saltwater and Reef > Saltwater & Reef - Sick Fish or Coral
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 06-09-2004, 08:34 AM   #1
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
flanque's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 740
Very Confusing Coral & Anenome Problem

Hi everyone,

Firstly, I am really glade to have found these forums. I intend on spending a lot of time here in the future. Thanks to the folks that set this up.

Now for my problem...

I have a 45 gallon aquarium running off a 1500l / hour canister filter which has 4 layers. Here's what's on each layer (top to bottom):

1. Standard pre-filter material on top of an ammonia pad
2. blue bio balls, crushed coral and activated carbon
3. Black and blue bio balls
4. Highly porus matrix "stones"

I also have a 1500l / hour power head pushing water around the back of the tank, down low. Water flow is very good in the aquarium.

I have 45kg of live rock, and fine sand as my base. The tank has been running since last August and was cycling for about 3-4 months before my first fish. I have two 10000 Kelvin lights, one blue one white. They stay on for 8.5 hours per day.

In the aquarium I have 2 juvenile ocellaris clowns, a red blenny and a small orange starfish. I have a golfball coral, a frogspawn coral and an anemone (not sure of species - brown and big which the clowns live in).

Everything has been going extremely well to date. My levels eased up after about 2 months of cycling and have been consistent since then:

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
KH: 190 (sometimes drops to 150-160 if I am time poor)
pH: 8.3 (fluctuates with KH)
Temp: 24C
Calcium: 400 (sometimes drops to 360 if I am time poor)
Buoyancy: 1.020

I do a water change about once a month, and change my filter pads every 2-3 weeks. I also add Cycle (highly effective bacteria cultivation product – the best in AU that I have found) every two weeks (I only do this because I am paranoid to keep my bacteria levels up and the people I know into marine aquariums recommend it).

Recently I added a bi-colour angel which lived for about three weeks and then died. I came home to it dead which I removed and measured my levels – these had not changed. All was well.

As a side note I have had another fish from the local hatchery die, but I am not surprised after the extremely careless and violent way the keeper caught them). Prior to this angel dying it got a cloudy eye immediately after I put it into the tank. I got some medications from the local hatchery after doing some research which claimed to be friendly with the corals. I added it and the cloudy eye went away. It recommended that I do a water change afterwards which I did. I removed the activated carbon during medication.

A week later I changed my pre-filter pad to a new brand recommended to me, and added the final portion of my KH buffer left over in the bottle. I also added Cycle. I had also removed a different golfball coral (a friend’s which I was trying to help live whilst he fully cycled his tank) which died after his miscare.

The next morning I woke to find MY golfball coral all closed in, and the anemone limp and looking very sick. The frogspawn coral was alive and kicking just fine (they are on different sides of the tank), and the three fish were swimming around just fine. The star fish looked a bit odd to be honest but it was alive and responsive if I moved it to another spot.

I measured my levels and found this:
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: < 0.1 (my lowest scale is 0.1)
KH: 160
pH: didn’t test
Temp: 24C
Calcium: 370
Buoyancy: 1.020

As you can see there’s not a lot of difference. Sure the KH and CA were a bit off but this has happened in the past and nothing like this has happened. I move the thermometer around to the other side of the tank to see if there was any difference but it was the same.

The water tasted fine and there was no odor. I (and the people I have spoken to) am extremely confused given that this has been running for a long period of time without this sort of reaction, my levels are fine, the fish are fine and the other coral is fine. I triple checked my levels and they’re consistent with those immediately above.

Can anyone please suggest what to do? It’s been three days now and there has been no change. Tonight I did a ~35% water change to see if that helps, but to be honest I am really lost about this and am quite concerned.

Does anyone have any ideas?
__________________

__________________
flanque is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2004, 12:23 PM   #2
steve-s
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Very Confusing Coral & Anenome Problem

Welcome to AquariumAdvice.com

Quote:
Originally Posted by flanque
I do a water change about once a month, and change my filter pads every 2-3 weeks. I also add Cycle (highly effective bacteria cultivation product – the best in AU that I have found) every two weeks (I only do this because I am paranoid to keep my bacteria levels up and the people I know into marine aquariums recommend it).
The cycle is not really going to do much if anything and I wouldn't waste the money. Products of this type rarely do what they are labeled, although they tend to give people piece of mind but that's about it. With the amount of LR you have, the biomedia in the canister is also not really needed. I would suggest that you slowly start to remove some of the media at each normal change. Instead of replacing the old that remains, simpley wash it in removed tank water. After a few weeks you will only be left with the small amount of carbon. The LR and sand will be able to perform all your biofiltration without the problems assocciated with a canister.

What medication was used in the tank? These are often touted as reef safe but few rarely if ever are.

As far as your corals and anemone are concerned, these numbers are quite important....
Quote:
Originally Posted by flanque
I have two 10000 Kelvin lights, one blue one white
Temp: 24C
Buoyancy: 1.020
The "buoyancy" or salinity levels for invertebrates should be 35 ppt or a specific gravity of 1.024-26. The temp should also be upwards of 26-27°C. Both of your levels are actually quite low and should be slowly raised over the next week to increase to a more natural reef environment. If your doing it for the fish's sake and parasite control, don't. It has no affect.

Can you be more specific on the lights. Type, wattage and such?

When you did the water change, what salt was used and how long was it left mixing after prepared before using. It is best to pre-mix SW 24 hrs ahead with a powerhead and heater so the salt has a proper amount of time to dissolve and the chem stabalizes. I would also recommend checking the pH, alk, salinity and temp of the new water before it's used.

Cheers
Steve
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2004, 05:45 AM   #3
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
flanque's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 740
Hi Steve,

Thanks for your support so far.

I have come home tonight after doing that water change and the coral is now half way out, not completely closed, and the anenome is now looking like it has some strength to it rather than being limp.

Now onto your questions as I would like to resolve this and make my reef aquarium better...

Would it be okay to still use the biomedia in the canister? I must say that before the matrix media was put in my levels had a hard time evening out when I was first cycling, afterwards it came in line very quickly. I'd appreciate your advice on this as I have read similar to what you are saying on various forums, sites and in books.

The medications were:
1. Melafix
2. Primafix

They did the job with respect to the angle's white eye, but it eventually died anyways. I did a water change after I finished medication as advised on the bottle, and removed the activated carbon prior to medication as advised on the bottle.

When I do water changed, I remove 25% from the tank and replace it with natural ocean water which is tested for good levels (and buffered if required) and temperature neutralised. I do this in an attempt to slowly raise the specific gravity with time (as I do get a small amount of evaporation). I do have some marine salt if you could advise on a generic way to get this into the tank. It has instructions but experience is worth a lot more I think.

I appreciated your help.
__________________
flanque is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2004, 10:37 AM   #4
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
flanque's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 740
Sorry, I meant to say that I appreciate your help. Just thought I should clarify that so you didn't think I was done with the thread.
__________________
flanque is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2004, 12:13 PM   #5
steve-s
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Quote:
Originally Posted by flanque
Would it be okay to still use the biomedia in the canister? I must say that before the matrix media was put in my levels had a hard time evening out when I was first cycling, afterwards it came in line very quickly. I'd appreciate your advice on this as I have read similar to what you are saying on various forums, sites and in books.
If you prefer the media in the canister, there is no reason why it cannot stay. It will just mean more maintenance on your part. As long as it is kept clean it will not become a problem. It basically comes down to what work you do not mind doing. As I said though with the amount of rock you have, the media is not needed but it should not be removed all at the same time. It should be done slowly in stages if that's whatt you decide. If you keep it, that's fine too. When your tank was cycling it may have offered a place where bacteria could form faster helping your cycle along.


Quote:
The medications were:
1. Melafix
2. Primafix

They did the job with respect to the angle's white eye, but it eventually died anyways. I did a water change after I finished medication as advised on the bottle, and removed the activated carbon prior to medication as advised on the bottle.
If the invertebrates in the tank did not show any stressful reaction (sliming/closing up) after the first few hours of placing the meds in, they will not have been the cause. Both are basically natural oils and at worst will gum up the equipment.


Quote:
When I do water changed, I remove 25% from the tank and replace it with natural ocean water which is tested for good levels (and buffered if required) and temperature neutralised.
This could be part of your problem depending on where the water is collected from and if it was treated/filtered before use. There could be pollutants entering your system. If you collect the water yourself, I would urge you to allow the water to sit in a pail for a week or two circulated with a powerhead and carbon. That will allow any parasites to hopefully die off and the carbon will help remove impurities. Also be sure the water is collected as far from populated area's as possible. Especially boat moorings. Since your problem sounds like it is from the water change and not the meds, I would start with that as the most probable cause.

When you are buffering the water you also need to be sure to check pH and Ca levels. The buffer addition could be causing a spike in the pH and a sever drop in the Ca which could easily shock the inhabitants of the tank if not allowed to settle out for at least 12 hrs before use. Have you tested the tank for these three?

Quote:
I do this in an attempt to slowly raise the specific gravity with time (as I do get a small amount of evaporation).
I do have some marine salt if you could advise on a generic way to get this into the tank. It has instructions but experience is worth a lot more I think.
Your better of with a little increase in salinity rather than the lower salinity to begin with. It is quite stressful on all types on invertebrates when the salinity is that low. When the salinity creeps up, it is usually slow enough that nothing gets stressed and if topped off daily with fresh unsalinated water, will be easy enough to maintain.

There are two ways you can fix this.
Mix up a 5 gal pail of SW @ 1.30 SG and mix well for 24 hrs. Place it near the tank for easy use. Every few hours add a cup of that water to the tank. Be sure you test the salinity along the way and try not to exceed a change of 0.01/day.

The other is to simpley wait until there has been enough evaporation that the tank has the desired salinity and simpley top off the tank with water that is the same salinity. As I said though be sure you bring up the temp as well.

In future if you have a fish that shows minor eye problems or non parasitic skin maladies, they are often easily fixed without the use of meds. Increasing the frequency of water changes with well aged SW combined with fortified foods will often do the trick if caught early enough. If the bacteria causing the problem is starved through diminished DOC in the water and the fish's immune system is boosted, it will often be able to fight the infection on it's own in milder cases. With eye problems, adding 1 tablespoon of epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) every few days (predissolved first) will also speed things up.

Cheers
Steve
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
anenome, coral

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
anenome problem Kimber Saltwater & Reef - Sick Fish or Coral 40 06-06-2009 10:22 AM
possible anenome problem sqrle Saltwater & Reef - Sick Fish or Coral 3 02-04-2009 05:41 PM
is metal hallide necessary for coral & anenome reef? brett7768 Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 7 12-15-2005 11:31 PM
confusing coral mykpoz Saltwater & Reef - Identification 6 09-21-2005 05:41 PM
Anenome Problem ??PLEASE HELP?? OceanMist Saltwater Reef Aquaria 22 06-22-2005 07:54 PM







» Photo Contest Winners








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:00 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.